The Big Board-Gaming Catch-All

I actually think Small World is best with two and three. Four and five players gets too chaotic and there aren't enough turns to really make any real plans, plus you'll probably only play two, maybe three races. With fewer players you'll decline and bring out more new races which I enjoy.

El Producto, do you live in NJ? I seem to think you do. And I seem to think you leave near-ish me. And I seem to think if that's the case we should play some games.

lostlobster wrote:
El Producto, do you live in NJ? I seem to think you do. And I seem to think you leave near-ish me. And I seem to think if that's the case we should play some games.

Sorry.. fair bit North of you in Ontario!

El-Producto wrote:
I love board games so much, love the bits, artwork everything... but I have nobody to play with. My wife likes a few games, but doesn't so much like "geeky" themed things.

Here's what I own, many of which have 1 or 2 plays.

[snip]

I just look at them longinly on the shelf, and for some strange reason want more ;)

QFT. I do have one friend who I've had a pretty good run of M'44 with, and while my wife and I talk about having board game nights it just never seems to come together.

But still I want moar games—despite having barely cracked Ashardalon or Battleship Galaxies! I didn't even put any board games on my Christmas list—oh there are some I would have, to be sure: Risk Legacy, Super Dungeon Explore, Drizz't—but the guilt of still not having played past the first mission in Battleship, or having a regular group, was too much.

Actually, that's not entirely true, I did ask for a couple of M'44 expansions.

But you get the point.

Dreaded Gazebo wrote:
I actually think Small World is best with two and three. Four and five players gets too chaotic and there aren't enough turns to really make any real plans, plus you'll probably only play two, maybe three races. With fewer players you'll decline and bring out more new races which I enjoy.

Good to know. That might actually move it up on my list.

Gravey wrote:
El-Producto wrote:
I love board games so much, love the bits, artwork everything... but I have nobody to play with. My wife likes a few games, but doesn't so much like "geeky" themed things.

Here's what I own, many of which have 1 or 2 plays.

[snip]

I just look at them longinly on the shelf, and for some strange reason want more ;)

QFT. I do have one friend who I've had a pretty good run of M'44 with, and while my wife and I talk about having board game nights it just never seems to come together.

But still I want moar games—despite having barely cracked Ashardalon or Battleship Galaxies! I didn't even put any board games on my Christmas list—oh there are some I would have, to be sure: Risk Legacy, Super Dungeon Explore, Drizz't—but the guilt of still not having played past the first mission in Battleship, or having a regular group, was too much.

Actually, that's not entirely true, I did ask for a couple of M'44 expansions.

But you get the point.

When I can get my wife to sit down and play, she has enjoyed Pandemic.. although we found it got quite samey after a while. She liked Mr. Jack and Lost Cities, but has no time for fantasy/sci-fi themed games.

I can't help think she might like a game like Agricola.. but that seems like the deep end of the pool for complexity. If I could only get her to play Space Hulk or Arkham Horror I'd be in heaven.

El-Producto wrote:
... Part of the problem I find, is that when I do sucker someone into playing something, I don't remember or know the rules, so it ends up in trying to figure everything out which for a non-gamer usually means they have no interest in playing.

I have discovered a few things about solving this problem over the years.

1. THE EASIER IT IS TO SETUP, THE MORE LIKELY IT WILL BE PLAYED

I customize the inserts/containers for nearly all of my games. I make it as easy to setup as possible. If there is a pile of chits (gold, VPs, whatever) that players need to pull from during the game, I keep them in a small container. That way, you just open the lid and put it on the table.

2. USE RULE CHEAT SHEETS!

You aren't going to eliminate the need for referencing a rule, but you can significantly minimize the time required to find it. Read the rules in full when you get the game. Then before you play, scan through the cheat sheets to refresh your memory.

Headlesshollow.com has the best ones; BGG often links to these and other versions as well. If no one has created one for a game, create one yourself (this alone will help you retain the rules). Having a quick and easy (and accurate) rules sheet is so much easier than trying to reference the complete rulebook mid-game.

3. TAKE NOTES DURING/AFTER THE GAME - THEN READ THE RULES AGAIN!
note down any missed rules and highlight those. Then when you review the cheat sheets before your next game, you can quickly scan your notes for commonly missed rules that might be applicable. Doing this once or twice for an infrequently played game really helps you to retain the rules later down the road.

DSGamer wrote:
Random question that I think you guys would know more about than anyone else. What are the best board games currently out on iPad? My wife and I have been having a great time being able to pack around Ticket to Ride, Puerto Rico and other games that we play on trips. I was wondering if there was anything else we were missing. We know about Carcassonne and Catan as well. I don't think there is an iPad version of Powergrid (our favorite physical board game) nor Dominion. Any recommendations would be helpful.

And no, I'm not trying to turn this into another video game thread. I have a major passion for board games. I just figured it might be safe to ask which really good board games have iPad / iPhone analogues.

I'll second the Small World nod. it's only 2-player but plays great on the iPad. I've recently added some Reiner Knizia games to my iPad lineup: (just do a search in the app store for his name, a few companies have made some of his games. His games are usually shorter strategic thinkers.) I can say that Ra is ok - the alerts when someone invokes Ra or draws Ra get annoying. I've been playing some Through the Desert recently and that seems to be done well. I've also played Ingenious when I had an iPhone, but I believe they just released an iPad version. My next Knizia iPad game will probably be Samauri as I have the board version of that one and enjoy it.

El-Producto wrote:
I can't help think she might like a game like Agricola.. but that seems like the deep end of the pool for complexity. If I could only get her to play Space Hulk or Arkham Horror I'd be in heaven.

How important is theme? More specifically, is it only a negative (fantasy/sci-fi) or do certain themes really pique her interest? My wife is loving Agricola because she really loves to build her family and farm. She likes the gameplay too but the theme is really what drove it home for her.

Agricola is also not as complex as it seems. There's a family game variant included in the rules that is pretty straight forward once you get past how poorly the rule book is written. Playing that for a few times first will make the whole process easier.

Not sure, it just seems to be a barrier. She's certainly not interested in Military themes, like Memoir '44.

I think I just need to get her back to the table with the games we already have.

El-Producto wrote:
When I can get my wife to sit down and play, she has enjoyed Pandemic.. although we found it got quite samey after a while. She liked Mr. Jack and Lost Cities, but has no time for fantasy/sci-fi themed games.

I can't help think she might like a game like Agricola.. but that seems like the deep end of the pool for complexity. If I could only get her to play Space Hulk or Arkham Horror I'd be in heaven.

We used to play a lot of Descent with her brothers, so I know she can enjoy the potion-quaffing, spell-slinging dungeon bashing. She doesn't love chromey tactical games and wouldn't bring them up, but if I bug her enough, she'll humour me. Maybe if she has no plans we can play Ashardalon tonight...

Theme usually isn't the biggest obstacle if the rules are quick to grasp (and she wins the first time)—she'd never say, "Ooh I'd love to be a dwarven warrior", but can get past that if the game plays fast and easily. I'll never get her to play War of the Ring: just too complex and time-consuming. And I don't mean "too complex" in a male vs female/"math is hard" kind of way. It's rather that to her, entertainment shouldn't be work, and WotR ("You can lay a siege, let me just look that up"), Arkham Horror ("If we start now, and skip lunch, we'll finish today!") and Descent ("We just need a second table") fall on the wrong side.

It does help, that my wife usually wins.. she loves that and is VERY competitive.

El-Producto wrote:
lostlobster wrote:
El Producto, do you live in NJ? I seem to think you do. And I seem to think you leave near-ish me. And I seem to think if that's the case we should play some games.

Sorry.. fair bit North of you in Ontario!

So... you're saying you don't get down to New Jersey very much?

lostlobster wrote:
El-Producto wrote:
lostlobster wrote:
El Producto, do you live in NJ? I seem to think you do. And I seem to think you leave near-ish me. And I seem to think if that's the case we should play some games.

Sorry.. fair bit North of you in Ontario!

So... you're saying you don't get down to New Jersey very much?

Not as often as I'd like to.. i.e. I've never been!

1) God dammit, Space Hulk is out of print, and that sounds like just the sort of game I want.

2) How close are you to the Commodore Barry or Delaware Memorial Bridge, Lobster? Maybe I'll invite you down to the next board game so my friends and I can kill you.

I mean, enjoy your company.

ccesarano wrote:
1) God dammit, Space Hulk is out of print, and that sounds like just the sort of game I want.

2) How close are you to the Commodore Barry or Delaware Memorial Bridge, Lobster? Maybe I'll invite you down to the next board game so my friends and I can kill you.

I mean, enjoy your company.

If you're interested in something like Space Hulk, I'd point you to Claustrophobia. It's somewhat similar, and a great game in it's own right.

Poppinfresh wrote:
ccesarano wrote:
1) God dammit, Space Hulk is out of print, and that sounds like just the sort of game I want.

2) How close are you to the Commodore Barry or Delaware Memorial Bridge, Lobster? Maybe I'll invite you down to the next board game so my friends and I can kill you.

I mean, enjoy your company.

If you're interested in something like Space Hulk, I'd point you to Claustrophobia. It's somewhat similar, and a great game in it's own right.

Fact.

I was actually considering selling my once played Space Hulk

I could get back what I paid and then some.

Has anyone here played Panic Station and could give me a verdict on it? The early buzz on it looked attractive, but the BGG ranking is lower than I expected. My board game group tried playing BSG with moderate success so it looked like something we might enjoy without all the lore (I still haven't gotten around to watching it yet) and complexity of BSG.

El-Producto wrote:
I was actually considering selling my once played Space Hulk

I could get back what I paid and then some.

The only thing I can think to say is "you jerk".

Hooray for Amazon wish lists and people who follow them. I wound up with:

7 Wonders
Pandemic
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
Apples to Apples

For expansions:
Carcassonne: Bridges, Castles, and Bazaars
Dominion Intrigue
Dominion Prosperity

HedgeWizard wrote:
2. USE RULE CHEAT SHEETS!

You aren't going to eliminate the need for referencing a rule, but you can significantly minimize the time required to find it. Read the rules in full when you get the game. Then before you play, scan through the cheat sheets to refresh your memory.

Headlesshollow.com has the best ones; BGG often links to these and other versions as well. If no one has created one for a game, create one yourself (this alone will help you retain the rules). Having a quick and easy (and accurate) rules sheet is so much easier than trying to reference the complete rulebook mid-game.

Thanks for that link to headlesshollow.com. Those reference sheets looks great and he has quite a few of the games I already own.

My family and I played our first game of Smallworld today and it was excellent. Still to come: Stone Age and Memoire 44. I may have gone overboard with the new games but what the hey.

crunchy wrote:
My family and I played our first game of Smallworld today and it was excellent. Still to come: Stone Age and Memoire 44. I may have gone overboard with the new games but what the hey.

Wife and I just played the final scenario in the Memoir 44 rule book (#16 I think). We love that game, although she commented that she's ready to try a game that doesn't limit your choices by the three sections. We have Battles of Westeros, but haven't tried it out yet.

Played three games of Guillotine with my family this afternoon. Things turned pretty cutthroat, which was awesome. I think we're going to break out Pandemic after dinner. I bought the On the Brink expansion a while back, but we haven't had a chance to play it.

fleabagmatt wrote:
crunchy wrote:
My family and I played our first game of Smallworld today and it was excellent. Still to come: Stone Age and Memoire 44. I may have gone overboard with the new games but what the hey.

Wife and I just played the final scenario in the Memoir 44 rule book (#16 I think). We love that game, although she commented that she's ready to try a game that doesn't limit your choices by the three sections. We have Battles of Westeros, but haven't tried it out yet.

Played three games of Guillotine with my family this afternoon. Things turned pretty cutthroat, which was awesome. I think we're going to break out Pandemic after dinner. I bought the On the Brink expansion a while back, but we haven't had a chance to play it.

Awesome! I feel that the BoW version of the command and colors systems is the best yet. Among other reasons, a key one is precisely the reason your wife notes: more tactical flexibility. You aren't hamstrung by poor card draws that don't allow you to act on a given flank.

But the rule set is also more dense.

Any recommendations for which Thunderstone set to pick up next if all I have is the Thunderstone: Dragonspire stand-alone set? Is it better to go back and pick up the original base game? or are one of the many smaller expansions preferable?

Thanks

HedgeWizard wrote:

Awesome! I feel that the BoW version of the command and colors systems is the best yet. Among other reasons, a key one is precisely the reason your wife notes: more tactical flexibility. You aren't hamstrung by poor card draws that don't allow you to act on a given flank.

But the rule set is also more dense.

I had a copy of Hammer of the Scots rules laying around the house. My jaw just about hit the floor when she skimmed some of the rules and said she'd like to give it a try some day.

fleabagmatt wrote:
crunchy wrote:
My family and I played our first game of Smallworld today and it was excellent. Still to come: Stone Age and Memoire 44. I may have gone overboard with the new games but what the hey.

Wife and I just played the final scenario in the Memoir 44 rule book (#16 I think). We love that game, although she commented that she's ready to try a game that doesn't limit your choices by the three sections. We have Battles of Westeros, but haven't tried it out yet.

M'44 is good, but imho C&C:Ancients is the best of the bunch. I can't say enough good things about that system. However, I did like BoW affter only one scenario, and I do want to play more.

fleabagmatt wrote:
I had a copy of Hammer of the Scots rules laying around the house. My jaw just about hit the floor when she skimmed some of the rules and said she'd like to give it a try some day.

Lucky man! It's awesome. And if she likes that Jerry Taylor game, I highly recommend Crusader Rex (in it's 2nd Edition now) and Richard III, which I playtested but haven't played yet. Columbia Games' War of 1812 and Quebec 1759 are lighter but also good. Lastly, you may want to check out their Julius Caesar, which has gotten rave reviews recently.

So I finally got to open up Dominion: Intrigue, and played with four total. Obviously, the game will take longer than 30 minutes because of the number of people, and the fact that I was the only one who knew the game, but I know the game shouldn't last over 2 hours...we even ended it early because there was no end in sight. I might've misread something, but it's only 10 decks, 5 card draw, and 1 buy and 1 action per turn, right? Maybe next time I'll cut the deck's cards in half.

cyrax wrote:
So I finally got to open up Dominion: Intrigue, and played with four total. Obviously, the game will take longer than 30 minutes because of the number of people, and the fact that I was the only one who knew the game, but I know the game shouldn't last over 2 hours...we even ended it early because there was no end in sight. I might've misread something, but it's only 10 decks, 5 card draw, and 1 buy and 1 action per turn, right? Maybe next time I'll cut the deck's cards in half.

Are you discarding your entire hand every turn?

Theoretically I could see a beginners game taking a really long time because they don't realize the importance of buying silver/gold and they like to buy one of every card instead of a focused strategy. If everyone distributes their purchases and doesn't buy a lot of money it'll be hard to run out Provinces or 3 piles. That's kind of a perfect storm though.